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Carbon sequestration through Mangroves – A cost effective method

Published 18th November 2010 - 0 comments - 2687 views -

Carbon sequestration is the process through which plant life removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and stores it as biomass. Plants and oceans are, therefore, called carbon sinks. It is estimated that mangroves sequester large amounts of carbon, approximately 25.5 million tonnes of carbon every year (Ong, 1993) and also that mangroves provide more than 10% of essential dissolved organic carbon that is supplied to the global oceans from land (Dittmar et al., 2006). Their role as a carbon sink is a service of particular global importance — mangroves and their soils are the second largest repository of terrestrial sequestered carbon after tropical forests. Mangroves and mangrove habitats contribute significantly to the global carbon cycle. Mangrove forest biomass may reach 700 t ha-1 (Clough, 1992, Table 2) and Twilley et al. (1992) estimate the total global mangrove biomass to be approximately 8.7 gigatons dry weight (i.e., 4.0 gigatons of carbon). Accurate biomass estimates require measuring volumes of individual trees. Da Silva et al. (1993) have developed equations for making such measurements on living mangroves. Changing climatic condition due to global warming has bring in awareness among people to save earth. Different ways of reducing Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be anthropogenic or natural ways are carried on. It has been noticed that loss of Rhizophora in the mangroves has happened in large scale. This is so because rhizophora trees are very sensitive to drastic change in climate. This clearly marks that increasing temperature which has affected the growth of these plants.


It is now understood that conserving mangroves would help us in sequestering carbon (which is a natural process). It would help us in reducing the effect on global warming. There is a scope for gaining credits in carbon market for this sector.

There are CDM projects for industries which are trying out ways to avoid carbon emissions, Afforestration and reforestration projects are also recognized as under projects for gaining Carbon Credits under Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). So when there is carbon market booming why not benefit from it? The question now arises is that if we commercialize this issue shall we be doing justice to nature? To whom are we benefiting and for what? This particularly comes in Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in the activities of Kyoto protocol. The Kyoto gives full consideration to the requirements and methodologies for measuring, estimating and reporting of activities under Article 3.3, and under Article 3.4. Compared to other land forest, mangrove ecosystem accumulates sequestered carbon in the sediment, which is far more then as compared to the above ground biomass.

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